The government is mounting a fresh attack on the racketeers behind Britain's£10bn counterfeit goods trade. A specialist national team of trading standards, customs and police officers will join forces with owners of well-known brands to target the ringleaders, reports the Independent(p1). The team will be directed by the Patent Office and will gather information about the gangs and help launch raids against them, but initially the aim is to coordinate the different agencies and improve their training.
UK Coal is urging ministers to review government planning rules it says are strangling the coal mining industry in England, reports the Financial Times(p1). Although an increase in coal prices has made the creation of new opencast mines economically viable, none of UK Coal's projects has managed to get planning approval in the last three years. Government guidance recommends that councils refuse planning permission unless proposals for new mines meet tough environmental and social tests. Planning rules in Scotland are less stringent, where one mining company has opened two opencast mines.
LORRY NOISE REDUCTION GUIDELINES UNDER REVIEW
Local authority guidelines that prevent lorries from delivering goods at night could be scrapped to help ease congestion, reports The Daily Telegraph(p29). Many businesses are unable to arrange deliveries between midnight and 7am because of noise restrictions. The increase in the number of out-of-town shopping centres and growing traffic problems has led to calls for a more flexible approach.
CONFUSION OVER PLANNING PERMISSION FOR SHOP SIGN
A Hertfordshire Florist looking to replace its shop sign has run into problems with the local council, reports The Daily Telegraph(p30). Dacorum BC looked set to agree to the new sign without any issues, but when the old one was dismantled an even older sign for 'The Langley Stores' was uncovered on the listed building. Officials then insisted that this sign be restored and that any new signage sticks to a tight specification. The paper outlines how the planning legislation applies to listed buildings.
BOSCASTLE SET FOR MORE BAD WEATHER
As the Cornish town of Boscastle recovers from devastating floods, it seems that residents are set for another battering later this week, reports The Guardian(p6). David Brown, chief executive of North Cornwall DC, said that the clean-up was going well and a council spokesmanreported that contingency plans had be set up to protect vulnerable homes from further flooding. Flood warnings have also been activated in the north-east, north-west and Anglian regions as well as Wales and the south-west.